"They have the apple."

Translation:Sie haben den Apfel.

April 11, 2013



I believe that "den " is used instead of "der" because the apple is the subject of the verb Haben i.e. it is being "had". When a masculine object is receiving an action from a verb then the case changes from nominitive "der" to accusative "den".

January 31, 2014


Apple is the object in the sentence, not the subject. The subject is sie.

September 25, 2017


Dear Geoffrey, thank you for you very clear explanation. Wouldn't Apfel be an object for the verb haben ? (isn't 'being had by Sie' quite a definition of an object?) Isn't Sie the subject (i.e. who is having) ? Heelp lol

June 16, 2016


Danke .This was very useful

September 16, 2018


Can anyone explain why "Sie haben den Apfel" would be the correct translation here rather than "Sie haben der Apfel"?

January 27, 2014


Cause german lanuague have akkusativ and nominetiv Der Apfel is in nominetiv. Hope you understand:)

April 17, 2016


What Geoffrey7 said below.

August 30, 2014


Above, now...

February 17, 2019


They say German is a cruel language for a reason. There's so many articles, ahh!

June 17, 2018


Dear GuilSobrinho. Yes I agree that in this example Apfel is the direct object of the verb 'haben'. I mentioned 'being had' as a way of explaining that it is the direct object of the verb (that is receiving the action - 'being had') and so therefore it takes the accusative. The thing that is "doing the action" here i.e. the subject is indeed 'Sie'. Maybe It would have been better if I hadn't mentioned 'the being had' part as for some people this makes it clearer and others more confused. The reason, I mentioned it is that if a sentence was using the verb 'sein' meaning the state of being (- to be) then the sentence would stay in the nominative case because there would be no real action. So if you say something simply 'is' something for example Das ist der Rote Apfel - (that is the red apple) it keeps the article in nominative but when something is being 'had' i.e. object of the verb 'haben' then it changes to accusative and hence der becomes den. I hope this helps

June 17, 2016


Would Ihr work in the sentence, or am i missing something?

September 7, 2018


No -- ihr as a subject means "you", not "they".

September 7, 2018


You can address multiple people as "ihr" BUT only a group of close friends.

It's similar to "y'all" ie. when you ask a group of friends "How are y'all doing?"

September 23, 2018


When does one use 'den' and 'die'?

March 25, 2016


When the sentence change from nominativ to akkusativ

April 17, 2016


also die would not change in the Akkusative case, only der words !

January 14, 2018


There's like 5 different words for have

May 18, 2018


Like how in English there are "like 5 different words for be" -- am, is, are, be, being.

English lost this for most verbs but German kept this.

You have to choose the appropriate form depending on the subject.

May 18, 2018


when do you use the different the's

November 21, 2018


I just want to ask about the haben part. When and why do we use habe, haben, habt and hast? Danke :)))

April 13, 2019


The best that I could figure out is is just one person has the apple it is einen as in ihr habt einen Apfel. When its than one then it becomes den such as Sie haben den Apfel.

June 10, 2019

  • Ihr habt einen Apfel. = You (several people whom you know well) have an apple.
  • Sie haben den Apfel. = You (a person or people whom you don't know well) have the apple.
June 10, 2019
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